Wings Late Comeback Not Enough to Conquer Mighty Mammoth 2/29/2020

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Di Miller, Correspondent Colorado Mammoth
Lacrosse is Awesome©

Featured Image Photo Credit: Di Miller

It was Military Appreciation Night at the Pepsi Center and the Loud House was packed with 12, 297 Mammoth fans with a few Wings fans tucked in here and there.  The Colorado Mammoth (6-6) hosted the Philadelphia Wings (7-5) for their first and only meeting this season. Tyler Digby was making his debut in a Mammoth jersey and he would not disappoint the fans scoring twice with four assists on the night as he seemed to fit in well with the offensive squad that Head Coach Pat Coyle has on the floor.  This would be the first and only time during the regular season that the Philadelphia Wings would set foot on the floor of the Pepsi Center and although they started out with two quick goals in the first, the game would be tight up until the third when Colorado would break it open.  A late surge by Philadelphia in the fourth would not be enough as the Mammoth would hold on in the closing seconds.  Final Score:  Colorado 11—Philadelphia 10.

It didn’t take long for the Wings to jump on the board with two quick goals the first at 27 seconds from Matt Rambo (2g, 4a); and the “Big Cat” Kevin Crowley (2g, 4a) at 54 second.  Ryan Lee (4g, 3a) who has quickly become the new fan fave in Colorado would get Colorado on the board with his first of four on night firing one past Zach Higgins from the wing at 2:02.  After five minutes of scoreless lacrosse, Mammoth face-off specialist Tim Edwards (1g, 1a) would notch his second of the year on the break with the assist going to John Lintz for the equalizer at 7:33 and we were tied at twos.  With a little under four on the ticker, Brett Hickey (2g, 3a) found an opening using the screen and fired one past Dillon Ward for the go ahead tally at 11:29.  Score at the end of one:  Wings:  3—Mammoth 2.

In a low scoring second, the teams would combine for only three goals.  Lee would notch a power play tally with the assist from Tyler Digby at 4:58 for the tying goal 3-3.  Once again the net-minders held strong between the pipes making some great saves.  Finally at 7:01 Kevin Buchanan (2g, 1a) found an opening and fired one and found twine once more for Philadelphia breaking the tie again.  With less than five remaining in the second, Dylan Kinnear (2g, 2a) came around from the left wing and dove through the crease finding a spot on the far side to tie it at four at the 10:52 mark.  That was it in the second as the teams would head to the locker room.  Score at the end of two:  Mammoth 4—Wings 4.

Philadelphia would start off the third with their lone goal 27 seconds in with Rambo putting one in past Ward and that was it as Colorado would go on a six-goal run.  Tyler Digby (2g, 4a) would notch his first goal in a Mammoth jersey.  He’d get the feed from Lee and with a soft shot found an opening on Higgins at 1:15.  Jacob Ruest (1g, 1a) would be next at 2:01; followed with another from Kinnear at 8:49; Chris Wardle would get on the board at 10:07; and Digby would notch his second at 12:50 to close out the frame.  The Wings transition game was sluggish and the Mammoth were capitalizing on the errors.  Score at the end of three:  Mammoth 9—Wings 5.

Photo Credit: Di Miller

Colorado would take the run into the fourth and would notch one more 1:20 in with Lee scoring with yet another crease dive goal to double them up over Philadelphia 10-5.  Crowley would finally stop the run at the 2:48 mark teaming up with Rambo closing the gap to four and silencing the crowd a bit.  Once more we’d see more stellar net-minding with Ward and Higgins standing on their heads in between the pipes.  Until 7:57 when Lee would score again for Colorado and the fans would erupt yet again.  It was then that the Wings knew it was do or die and they found new life.  Buchanan got their four goal run going at 9:30.  After that, Philadelphia would score three more utilizing the extra-attacker on the remaining goals.  Kiel Matisz (1g, 2a) got it going at 12:45; Josh Currier (1g, 1a) who was standing behind the net came around with a beautiful goal that he put in between Ward and the pipe at 13:12; and Hickey fired one in on the door step with 52 seconds on the clock getting them to within one.  Colorado would win the final possession with Philadelphia and the open net and what many thought was strange, while they were on the fast break on the way to the net, would call a time out with 27 seconds left.  Fans were booing and baffled as to why they would not score on the empty net.  The play ensued and with 9 seconds on the clock and still an empty net for the Wings, Dan Coates headed down the floor the ball rolled into the net but his foot had touched the crease before the ball passed the plane of the goal.  “No Goal” with 3 seconds left on the clock.  The play finally resumed and the clock wound down with the Mammoth victorious.  Final Score:  Mammoth 11—Wings 10.

Game Highlights: Colorado vs Philadelphia 2/29/2020

TEAM STATS:
Philadelphia:  46 SOG; 15 SOFF; 56 LB; 19-25 FO; 0-1 PP; 12 PIM
Colorado:  46 SOG; 24 SOFF: 54 LB; 6-25 FO; 3-5 PP; 8 PM

NET-MINDER STATS:
Philadelphia  Zach Higgins:  46 SOG; 35 Saves; 11 GA;  .761 Sv%
Colorado  Dillon Ward:  46 SOG; 36 Saves; .782 Sv%

NEXT UP:

The Colorado Mammoth (6-6) will host the Rochester Knighthawks (2-8) on Sunday March 8, game time 5:00 p.m. EST.  This will be the only time the two teams meet this season and it marks Steve Fryer’s return to Colorado after being traded during the off season.

The Philadelphia Wings (7-5) have a double-header weekend coming up where they’ll face two of their East Division rivals.  Both games will be huge as this is another division where every game can mean a change in the top spot in the division.  They’ll start it off when they host the New England Black Wolves (6-3) on Saturday March 7, game time 1:00 p.m. EST.  Then they’ll head down to Georgia to face the Swarm (6-4) on Sunday, game time 4:00 p.m. EST.

Di Miller, Correspondent Colorado Mammoth
Lacrosse is Awesome©

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